UK railway news round-up

HS2 train decision delay

Construction work on HS2 officially begins today, with 22,000 jobs expected to be created over the next few years. But there is some opposition.

HS2 rail project work begins with pledge of 22,000 jobs

HS2
Photo: HS2

Construction work on HS2 officially begins today, with 22,000 jobs expected to be created in the next few years.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said HS2 is “vital to boost connectivity”.

“HS2 is at the heart of our plans to build back better – and with construction now formally underway, it’s set to create around 22,000 new jobs.”

Mr Johnson endorsed the high speed rail project in February, and the Department for Transport gave approval for works to proceed in April.

But critics argue HS2 will also cost jobs, and vow to continue protesting.

Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin said: “Trying to spin HS2 as a job creation scheme is beyond desperate, as even if you take the governments low estimate of cost for Phase One of HS2, creating 22,000 jobs works out at almost two million pounds just to create a single job, at a time when well-run businesses are going under every day, and Boris Johnson is rather less keen to mention the 19,590 jobs that HS2 will permanently displace.” Click here for more details.

Key dates for major £1.2bn East Coast Main Line upgrades confirmed

East Coast Main Line
Photo: Network Rail

Network Rail have confirmed dates for key works on the £1.2 billion East Coast Upgrade.

The completed works will deliver improved reliability and punctuality for passengers and ensure the route has the capacity to deal with future passenger volumes.  

A significant part of the project is replacing tracks and track layout, which is almost 50 years old, on the 1.5-mile route into London King’s Cross. This work requires the temporary closure of individual tracks and platforms at King’s Cross at different times over a three-month period. Click here for the full details.

RAIB investigating freight train derailment in Wales

RAIB investigating freight train derailment in Wales

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is investigating an incident involving the derailment of a freight train near Llangennech.

The incident occurred at about 23.15 on August 26 when freight train 6A11, the 21.52 from Robeston to Theale conveying 25 tank wagons each containing up to 75·5 tonnes of diesel or gas oil, derailed on the Up District line in Carmarthenshire.

This resulted in a significant spillage of fuel and a major fire. The driver, who was unhurt, reported the accident to the signaller. Examination revealed that 10 wagons, positioned 3rd to 12th in the train, had derailed. Click here for more details.

HS2 strengthen partnership to help ‘covid generation’ into work

HS2

HS2 is strengthening its partnership with the Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) to provide work experience places and 1:1 mentoring to ensure young people can access professional support.

The rail company has been working with SMF for the last five years, though this year HS2 has adapted its traditional summer work experience programme to provide virtual support to school and college leavers. Click here for more details.

Bristol Temple Meads station celebrates 180 years

Bristol Temple Meads

Bristol’s Temple Meads marked 180 years since the station was built with a special celebration.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel built the station in 1840 and to mark the occasion Network Rail and GWR celebrated its historic past and looked forward to a bright future as Bristol Temple Meads is set to have a multi-million-pound renovation starting later this year. Click here for more details.

Electronic scarecrow installed at Manchester depot

Network Rail has installed a solar-powered scarecrow that mimics the calls of a hawk to ward off birds causing delays to passengers travelling between Manchester and London Euston.

Large numbers of birds have been damaging the electric arms of Avanti West Coast’s Pendolino trains and overhead line equipment giving them power at Alstom depot in Longsight, Manchester.

In response, Network Rail and the train operator has installed the device which humanely scares the birds away while protecting them from potential electrocution. Click here for more details.

Seaton Tramway celebrates 50th anniversary

Seaton Tramway recently hosted a special event on August 28 allowing visitors to see all 13 trams in action to celebrate 50 years of the tramway. Click here to see all the action from the event.

Leighton Buzzard Railway announce September reopening

Leighton Buzzard Railway

Leighton Buzzard Railway has announced it is to reopen on Saturday 19 September after months of closures.

The Chairman of Leighton Buzzard Railway has thanked supporters for their patience, as the Railway also announced planned special events in September, October and November have been cancelled. Click here for the full details.

Latest service updates

Due to engineering work the following services will be affected. Please check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.  

District line
On Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September, there will be no service between Earls Court and Wimbledon. Rail replacement bus service DL4 will run between Hammersmith and Wimbledon (non- stop between Hammersmith and Putney Bridge). Service DL5 will run between Earl’s Court and Wimbledon.

No Night Tube or London Overground Night Service and limited Night Bus services are running.

See the latest status updates on London Underground, including a map of closures.  

London Overground
Due to engineering work, the following London Overground services will be affected. 

On Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September, there will be no service between Gospel Oak and Barking. Use local bus or Tube services. Rail replacement bus service J will run between Gospel Oak and Seven Sisters. Rail replacement bus service T will run between Walthamstow Central and Barking.

On Sunday 6 September, there will be no service between: Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction. Rail replacement bus service M will run between Canada Water and Clapham Junction Liverpool Street and Enfield Town until 10:15. Use local bus or Tube services. Rail replacement bus service L1 will run between Seven Sisters and Enfield Town Liverpool Street and Cheshunt until 10:15. Rail replacement bus service L2 will run between Seven Sisters and Cheshunt. Or use Greater Anglia services Liverpool Street and Chingford until 10:15. Use Tube services. Rail replacement bus service L3 will run between Hackney Downs and Chingford From Monday 7 until Thursday 10 September, there will be no service between: Sydenham and West Croydon after 23:30. The last trains will be diverted to Crystal Palace. Use local buses  Hackney Downs and Enfield Town after 22:45. Rail replacement bus service L1 will run Hackney Downs and Cheshunt after 22:45. Rail replacement bus service L2 will run or use Greater Anglia services No Night Tube or London Overground Night Service and limited Night Bus services are running.

Check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.  

TfL Rail  
On Sunday 6 September, there will be no service between Paddington and Ealing Broadway from 09:15 until 22:30.

Use Central and District line services to continue your journey.
Check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.
 
London Trams  
Due to planned engineering works, there will be several London Trams line closures during August and September. The following services will be affected in the coming week:
On Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September, there will be no service between Arena and Beckenham Junction. Rail replacement bus services TL2 will run.

Check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time. 

See an overview of planned track closures for the next six months.

See the latest status updates on London Overground, DLR, TfL Rail and Trams, including a map of closures and information about rail replacement buses.

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